Across the world, millions of people face an unprecedented threat from the global coronavirus pandemic.

Communities that face the daily threat of landmines and unexploded bombs are some of the most vulnerable in this crisis, contending not only with health issues, but with fragile healthcare infrastructure in rural regions of the world. MAG’s priorities during these challenging times are the health and safety of our staff and their families, our commitment to continue to deliver our work where we can, and our wider responsibility to help diminish the spread of the virus. With these priorities in mind, we took the very difficult step of suspending or reducing many of our programs in March.

It is essential, however, that humanitarian work such as ours does not grind to a halt because of the coronavirus. And that is why it is so encouraging that we have been able to resume operations in some of our program countries this month.

Teams in Vietnam receive training on strict new health and safety measures

In Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, our staff have now returned to work following new training and the introduction of new social distancing and operating procedures. In other countries, we expect to be able to return to work in the coming weeks as we adjust to the new reality that coronavirus brings.

Operations will only be resumed in this way with the permission of the local authorities and when we are sure of the safety of both our employees and local people.

MAG teams in PPE return to work in Bosnia and Herzegovina

We are thankful to all our donors and partners for their understanding and support as we manage the uncertainty ahead. We are thankful, also, to our amazing staff in the countries where we work who continue to display the utmost professionalism, flexibility, and dedication.

We know that eventually the threat of coronavirus will diminish; but when it does, the threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance will still be there for more than 60 million people around the world.

New health and safety facilities will help protect staff and communities in Cambodia

The presence of landmines will only exacerbate the socioeconomic damage that COVID-19 threatens. Demining can be critical not only for the delivery of humanitarian aid but also in creating the conditions required for economic development and the alleviation of poverty.

Global challenges require global partnerships and global collaboration. When we stand together, we can achieve so much. Thank you for standing with MAG!